Ann Dolin: Knowing how much to help your child with schoolwork is perhaps the most important element of school success. Younger children require more hand-holding; they haven't yet developed the internal structure they need to stay focused and they need the external structure their parents can provide them. But in student's age, the rule of thumb is to get them started, watch them do the first few problems to be sure they understand the material and then walk away.
Sitting with your child while he does homework is not productive, and it sends a message that he's incapable of doing the assignment. Remember, this is your child's homework; in fact, a parent's pen shouldn't touch the paper. It isn't necessary to correct every single problem, but to be sure the work is generally correct and that it's complete. On the other hand, knowing when to provide support is equally as important. When you see your child struggling, by all means intervene; work with him until he is able to understand the content and then let him work on his own.
When it comes to school work, independence is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.